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Shepherd Scott turns 3

March 26, 2014

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On February 2, Shep turned the big 0-3. And you know what? It seemed like it was time! I tend to ask where the time went and how could one of the kids possibly be having another birthday, but this year it just seemed like it was time for Shep to turn 3.

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We celebrated with a Thomas the Train, Olmstead Castle party-this is the name of the castle in the latest Thomas movie, King of the Railway. To say that Shep loves trains and Thomas would be the understaement of the century. Our boy is obsessed. Some days we put away the trains so he will play with something else. His story lines that he enacts while playing trains are so impressively creative and comedic. I do love watching him play trains.

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At the beginning of the party, Shep recieved an envelope with a very important message from Sir Topham Hat, the railway master from Thomas. Sir Topham Hat’s letter to Shepherd and his friends detailed 3 very important jobs for Shep and his friends to do. The first of which was to help King Godred fix his crown.

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Next, the kids had to place a crown on Thomas.

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And lastly, the Troublesome Trucks were biffing and bashing on the tracks and the kids played a version of Hot Potato to Thomas the Train music to see who would help stop the trucks from causing confusion and dealy. After the last little activity, the letter sent the kids to the Refueling Station in the kitchen for pizza and cake/ice cream.

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This was one of my favorite kid parties we have done, all of Shep’s buddies had so much fun and the kiddos were all so well behaved.

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RC constructed Shep’s castle cake and I helped frost it. It wasn’t beautiful, in fact we joked that it belonged on the site Cake Wrecks, but Shepherd loved it and it tasted awesome.

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Shepherd is growing in to a really loveable, kind and funny little boy. I have said it before, but truly, to know Shepherd is to love him. Kind-hearted, easy-going, always ready with a smile and to make you smile, we are so proud of him.

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Shepherd’s buddy, Sarah, the only girl (other than his sister) that he wanted at his party.

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Worthless, elemental things…and a new work

March 25, 2014

For any of you that still might peroidically check back to my tiny speck on the internet map, I thought I would type out and some things that RC and I have been processing with the Lord recently.

“But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days and months and season and years. I fear for you, that perhaps I have lab ored over you in vain.” -Galatians 4:9-10

God rarely speaks to me strongly though the sweet and tender words found in Scripture, I often need some straight-forward remind-me-who-I-am-and-who-God-is, kind of words to wake me up and examine my heart before God. And these verses stung me. Deep.

You see, when RC and I were dating and first married (read pre-kid, probably), we were ready and actively engaged with where and what God had for us to do, and our yes was ready to give for even the things which may have brought us away from aligning with the typical American dream and Western persuit of comfort for every area of life. The previous 6 years have found us in birthing our babies and seeking comfort. Our yes potentially there to give God, but not without negoiated reason and explination to why it probably would not fit in to our plan of comfort, ease and stability for us and our people. There is one door God was opening three years ago that I think we closed rather quickly in the name of comfort. I do not regret that situation, but I grieve the motivation for my decision…For good jobs in one of the wealthiest counties in the US, a lovely neighborhood/schools/rec centers and overall ability to manage and control that aspect on our own.

Nay I seem to be throwing a personal pity party or writing a self-loathing blog-post, I also think there are things we have said yes to. There is faithfulness in serving and I am sure that many of our friends, mentors, etc would continue to encourage us. But there is a tenderness in our heart right now to re-open our hearts and minds to a new work that God may be stirring within us and our family. We have no details, no explination of what this could be (we have a few ideas), but there is a sense that God is beckoning us to be ready and willing to say yes, even when the yes may not make complete sense from our limited, humanly-flawed perspective. Even when the yes might open the doors to things that are not comfortable…uncharted waters that, when followed through out of obedience, will yeild a faithfulness and goodness that can only be explained by Jesus.

Probably about six months ago I remember asking RC, “What is our life demonstrating to our kids about God? Because right now, to me, it seems more about ourselves than out Him.”

We are serving in our local church body and community, that is not what pulls at my heart. Bible studeis, check. Mentoring others, check. Leading a life group, check. Elder, check (for RC). Teaching Sunday School, check. These things are all good and well and we love the privlage and honor of getting to participate in loving and others and loving God through these avenues. But when I am really honest with myself and God, I would say that there are tangible comforts that I want to be in place while all of those occur. I am deeply greatful and thankful for all that our family has, God has been very rich to provide for our every need and beyond. My musings are not out of an un-greatful heart, but a heart that questions if I hold my earthly comforts closer than I hold the things of Jesus.

I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.

You know that place in Hebrews (4:11/12ish I think) it talks about Scripture being a double-edged sword? This cuts straight to for me.  Is discomfort the goal? Certainly not. Does there always have to be a monumental thing in our lives to feel at peace with following God? No way. But comfort and my order of business should not keep me from being ready and willing to say Yes when God moves. No matter what. Lord, make our family ready to say yes.

 

Hudson David is 18 Months

March 25, 2014

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After a 5 month blogging hiatus, I thought it would only be fitting to post about the youngest member of Team E at 18 months. And besides, who could possibly resist pictures of such a cute thing…not me…which is why may not tell him no as often as I should…

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We squeezed his 18 month check-up in just before the buzzer of hitting the 19 month mark next Monday, but we got the little man weighed, measured and he even topped the visit off with stealing Dr. D’s stethoscope and giving him a check up, listening to his nose, which is Hudson’s favorite body part to examine.

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Hudson weighed in at a whopping 30 pounds, 3 ounces (74th%) and measured 34.5 inches tall (97th%) and his head was in the 73rd%. He is wearing 2T clothes and we probably need to move up to Size 5 diapers so the tabs don’t come open. Big baby in a little diaper.

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Adventure. Exploring. Sneaky. Funny. Totes adorbs. Cuddly.

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Hudson Loves:

  • Cookies
  • Helping us cook
  • Being outside
  • His blanket
  • Linden & Shepherd
  • Water
  • Apples
  • Playing chase
  • Moving
  • iPhone

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Hudson Dislikes:

  • Timeout (upcoming series #placesHudsonhastimeout)
  • Someone taking something “das mine!!!!”
  • Going more than 20 min. without eating
  • Coming inside from playing
  • Being by himself

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The most independent-spirited and maverick-minded of our trio; I have no doubt [and pray] that God will use this character-trait to produce perseverance, determination and steadfastness/faithfulness in whatever path He has for Hudson. I know that it takes more time to discipline this personality, but I enjoy the challenge and for as much of Ryan’s personality traits we see in LP, I see much of myself in H. And mercy, I know my own flaws very intimately, but I can also see the positive aspects that it gives birth to also and want to foster those things within him as he grows.

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We are loving the ages/stages of the kids right now. Most days we laugh, send 2.5 kids to timeout, give 2 baths and 1 shower, run the dishwasher 1.5x, 1.5 loads of laundry, load 3 kids in and out of the car 3.5x, change 5 diapers, sanitize a toilet seat and floor 3x from a preschool boy using it, give/recieve 25 hugs and kisses, ask someone not to eat their buggers/snot 1.5x, do online Kindy math homework and listen to 2.5 plot-less Kindy early reader books…and tie no shoes…and teach nobody to tie shoes, because ain’t nobody got time for that. Slip on, or go home.

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October Saturday

October 12, 2013

A little glimpse of our full and fun-filled Saturday…

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The littlest E, Mister Hudson David, turns 1.

October 4, 2013

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On August 31st my littlest man-child turned one.

One!!

A whole year has passed, how can this be?!

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The joy and grace that God richly provides through getting to be a mom to our kiddos is abundant. A blessing and weighty privilege it is; and just when you think your heart is as full as it could possibly become, God is able to continue to expand its capacity. This expanding heart capacity has been my experience in adding Hudson to our crazy party…family…He brings much joy, love, laughter and excitement to our home that it is truly unimaginable to think of its absence.

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In my experience, expanding our little brood to 3 has been one of the most growing, strengthening, exhausting, challenging and creative journeys of my life. More so than at any other one of our children’s birthdays, I think that RC and I felt we too have grown and changed much in the last year marking Hudson’s 1st birthday, as individuals and as a family.

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And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

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I have made mention of this in a few places, but the best way I can express the love and joy that Hudson has brought to my own heart is in the same way that C.S. Lewis has written about his conversion to Christianity. Lewis describes his conversion to Christ as being surprised by joy…I love that, surprised by deep and inexpressible joy that only comes from Jesus.

Before I became a mom of 3, I think I parented {often by default} within my own strength and capabilities. In having 3 kids in 4 years, with the last two 18 months apart, I find myself deperate to seek God daily to fill me with all of the strength {read energy and physical capacity}, patience, creativity, and wisdom that I would need to be a mom for a given day. And at the heart of it, that my true identity would be found in Christ {see here for a great list of parts of our identity that Pastor Mark Driscoll identifies that were particularly meaningful to me over the course of this last year}. I think there are moments in our journey with Christ that we can literally feel Him working on our hearts, chiseling away at hardened areas that need to be made more sensitive to the Holy Spirit. I think the last year has been one of those seasons where I know God has been pruning these various areas of my life and can already reflect and see, by His grace, the fruit of change in my heart and my outward actions, specifically as a parent. It has been a full and blessed year, truly.

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We celebrated Hudson’s birthday on his actual big day {August 31} which landed on a Saturday, win! We really tried to simplify the party this year and did a low-key cake and ice cream Super Hero celebration for him with family and friends at a local park. I even did an evite instead of a paper invitation. This seem ridiculous just typing that statement, but in all honestly, I love doing paper invitations, there is something classic and personal about them. But in a spirit of less is more, it was evite for the win.

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Hudson and Shep in their matching super hero capes. Linden had a little Super Girl cape and I promise that she was at her brother’s birthday party, though it appears we have no photo record of it. Sorry LP, love you and may this blog post serve as a testimony of your being present at the party and loving your littlest brother. Amen.

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Cake design by RC. He is the coolest Dad around.

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Love this kid. I think he sang his brother happy birthday 2,000,000 times that day. It was {mostly} endearing.

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This picture captures Hudson finally calming down after touching the lit candle on his cake. He is our 3rd kid. We should have seen this coming. Seriously, parenting fail on our part. Sorry kid.

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It was fun to have my Dad and step-mom, Michelle, visiting us from Texas the week of Hudson’s birthday, we loved having them!

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Hudson knew exactly what to do with the and Linden and Shep were patient to let him slowly rip off the paper himself.

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We love our “Hudsie” as Shep affectionately calls him, he is the perfect completion to our Party of 5.

Miss Linden goes to Kindergarten

August 15, 2013

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On Tuesday we sent this sweet girl, our firstborn, off to elementary school.

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Linden was so excited to go to school that it was hard to be too sad as we sent her off. Honestly, I cried more the day before when we had the Classroom Connection Day, meeting her teacher, walking around the school and dropping off her supplies. I think walking into her classroom made the transition to the school-age days feel very real and very different from Pre-K last year. We can already tell that Miss B is a kind, caring and entergetic teacher and Linden is going to flourish in her classroom.

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A friend from church also has two daughters at the same school and she sent me a text yesterday that said every time she has seen Linden during carpool time she is animatedly talking to someone. She is a social butterfly setting up playdates with her new classmates and volunteering me to do their hair, ha!

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On the first day of class we parked across the street from the school and the boys and I walked her to her class line. She looked so big and so small at the  same time walking to her teacher.

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We are excited about the magnet school she was accepted to and she will be going all day (it is all they offer at her school), but this week they eased the kids in by doing half days, which has been nice. We are looking forward to all of the new things that Linden will learn this year and the new friends she will make!

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Our annual sart of school interview

Great Reading: Who Do You Think You Are by Mark Driscoll

August 4, 2013

If you know me at all, you probably know that I love the Bible teaching of Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church Seattle. Not that I am an authority on this at all, but I would say that Pastor Mark has to be one of the most influential modern Bible teachers and Christian theologians.

Shortly after Hudson was born I tuend in weekly for his sermon series that was based off his most recent book Who Do You Think You Are: Finding Your True Identity in Christ. If you are reading this blog and I know you and you would like to borrow my copy of the book, just let me know and I will ship it to you (or hand it to you if you are local ;-) )

I have heard Bible teaching on finding our identity in Christ many times throughout my time as  Believer, but none of it has come close to what Pastor Mark teaches in this book and sermon series. You can listen to this series and others via the free Mars Hill Church app on iTunes.

Here is a run down of the sermon titles & book chapters. God has used this teaching my life to examin areas that I had not previously considered regarding my true identity being in Jesus.

  1. I am in Christ
  2. I am a Saint
  3. I am Blessed
  4. I am Appreciated
  5. I am Saved
  6. I am Reconciled
  7. I am Afflicted
  8. I am Heard
  9. I am Gifted
  10. I am New
  11. I am Forgiven
  12. I am Adopted
  13. I am Loved
  14. I am Rewarded
  15. I am Victorious
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